Students must be prepared to work differently

I am happy to note that the Ministry of Education (MOE) is making an effort to ensure that the education system shifts away from grades and book smarts (Pushing further away from grades and books smarts; Dec 21) .

As parents, we want our children to be prepared for the "real world".

Children are still largely schooled under traditional educational methodologies with some tweaks here and there. However, we need our students to be prepared for the future workforce, and for that to happen, they must be prepared to navigate and succeed in an ever-changing landscape.

We live in a time when roughly half the jobs in 2020 are not yet known to us and sadly half of the jobs of today will be extinct.

We require a high level educational think-tank to explore how to prepare students for the changes. There is no denying that digital transformation will take centre stage in the world economy and our business models are evolving rapidly. Therefore, students must be prepared to work differently to acquire new sets of skills considered crucial for the jobs of tomorrow.

MOE needs to focus on imparting skills that are needed for the future economy. MOE can provide exposure to students beyond the usual industrial attachments and internships.

I am certain that the future jobs will be a lot more flexible, collaborative and mobile.

Students must be prepared for a future working environment where they may have to work from home.

They need to be critical thinkers and pay attention to their competency skills.

I am confident MOE will be up to the task as our education system is known to be the best in Asia.

Let's get ready to make the change to better our students, who are the future leaders of tomorrow.

V. Balu

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2018, with the headline 'Students must be prepared to work differently'. Print Edition | Subscribe